How to Sharpen a Swiss Army Knife

Updated November 21, 2016

Nothing beats a good Swiss Army knife for versatility when out on a camping trip. But a dull blade can make even the best pocket knife useless. You can sharpen your pocket knife with either a whetstone or a steel. A whetstone is a stone that is used like sand paper to sharpen knives. A steel is a textured metal rod with a handle. Both do the job well, but Victorinox, the makers of Swiss Army knives, recommend using a sharpening steel. Learn how to keep your Swiss Army knife sharp and ready for action.

Hold the steel with your left hand (if right handed). Point it away from your body.

Grip your pocket knife firmly with your right hand (if right handed) and keep your fingers away from the blade. Place the blade on the steel at a 20-degree angle.

Start at the base of the knife and slide the blade across the steel. Pretend you are peeling the steel. Be sure to swipe the entire blade along the steel. Repeat twice.

Turn the Swiss Army knife over and sharpen the other side, pulling the knife toward you. Repeat twice for this side.

Continue until the Swiss Army knife is sharpened. Always sharpen both sides of the knife equally. Test your knife for sharpness by slicing into the edge of a piece of paper. A well-sharpened pocketknife will slice the paper easily.


Make sure no people or animals are close by when sharpening your knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Swiss Army knife
  • Sharpening steel
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